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Monday, April 13, 2020

Gene Clark - Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers (1967 us, a glorious countrified psych folk rock album, 2014 japan blu spec remaster and expanded)

When Gene Clark died in 1991 after years of substance abuse, obit writers cited his brief period as a founding member of the Byrds. Clark was actually much more. He infused the original band with much of its soul and vision, establishing himself as a pivotal folk-rock innovator, a fact known to the band and hardcore fans but never comprehensively chronicled until John Einarson’s 2005 Clark biography, Mr. Tambourine Man.

Like bandmates Jim (now Roger) McGuinn and David Crosby, Clark was a former folkie captivated by the Beatles. His baritone vocals were as integral to the Byrds’ sound as McGuinn’s jangly Rickenbacker twelve-string electric. So were Clark originals such as “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better”, “I Knew I’d Want You” and “She Don’t Care About Time”. McGuinn and Crosby may have shared co-writer credit on “Eight Miles High”, but they essentially embellished a song that Clark had created. Overwhelmed by demands of fame and tired of clashing with the contentious Crosby, Clark left the band in 1966; Byrds manager Jim Dickson landed him the Columbia contract that spawned this album.

Recorded with the Byrds’ rhythm section of Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke, plus A-list Los Angeles studio musicians Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers has justifiably gained stature over the past 40 years, not only as a glorious brew of ’60s folk-rock, proto-country-rock and complex, Beatlesque pop, but as an expository effort that defined and clarified Clark’s importance to the band he left behind (and briefly rejoined).

Given the fact the vocal harmonies from the Gosdins (future Nashville star Vern and his brother Rex) were of marginal importance, their overblown billing can only by explained by the fact that Dickson also managed them. Clark invoked the Byrds sound several times, on “The Same One” (with guitar from Clarence White, then just beginning to plug in), “Couldn’t Believe Her”, and “So You Say You Lost Your Baby”. The painfully emotional “Echoes”, a bit of baroque ’60s art-rock framed by Russell’s string arrangement, showcases Clark’s stunning lyrical impressionism.

Revolver-era Beatles influence bursts forth from “Is Yours Is Mine” and “Elevator Operator”. Buck Owens is the influence on “Tried So Hard” and “Keep On Pushin'”, a harbinger of the country-rock Clark would pursue with Doug Dillard in 1968. Six bonus tracks include two alternate takes, two acoustic demos, and mono mixes of both sides of a 1967 Columbia single. This isn’t the album’s first reissue, but this edition conclusively summarizes and showcases Clark’s early genius.

1. Echoes - 3:19
2. Think I'm Gonna Feel Better - 1:37
3. Tried So Hard - 2:22
4. Is Yours Is Mine - 2:23
5. Keep On Pushin' (Gene Clark, Bill Rinehart) - 1:47
6. I Found You - 3:02
7. So You Say You Lost Your Baby - 2:09
8. Elevator Operator (Gene Clark, Bill Rinehart, Joel Larson) - 2:28
9. The Same One - 3:30
10.Couldn't Believe Her - 1:53
11.Needing Someone - 2:04
12.So You Say You Lost Your Baby - 2:29
13.Is Yours Is Mine - 2:10
14.Tried So Hard - 2:27
15.Only Colombe - 3:02
16.The French Girl (Ian Tyson, Sylvia Fricker) - 2:33
17.Tried So Hard - 2:22
18.Keep On Pushin' (Gene Clark, Bill Rinehart) - 1:49
19.Think I'm Gonna Feel Better  - 1:36
20.Is Yours Is Mine - 2:29
21.Echoes - 3:21
22.The Same One - 3:32
23.Needing Someone - 2:02
24.So You Say You Lost Your Baby - 2:10
25.Couldn't Believe Her - 1:58
26.I Found You - 2:58
27.Elevator Operator (Gene Clark, Bill Rinehart, Joel Larson) - 2:55
28.Couldn't Believe Her - 2:11
29.Tried So Hard - 2:20
30.Only Colombe - 3:09
31.The French Girl (Ian Tyson, Sylvia Fricker) - 2:37
32. So You Say You Lost Your Baby - 3:13
All songs by Gene Clark except where indicated
Tracks 12-13 Acoustic Mono Versions
Track 14 Alternate Mono Mix
Tracks 15-16 Mono Versions
Tracks 17-26 Collector's Series Early L.A. Sessions
Tracks 27,29 Alternative Stereo Version
Tracks 28,30,31 Remixed
Track 32 Acoustic Demo Version

*Gene Clark - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Vern Gosdin - Backing Vocals
*Rex Gosdin - Backing Vocals
*Glen Campbell - Electric Guitar
*Jerry Cole - Guitars
*Bill Rinehart - Guitars
*Clarence White - Guitar On
*Doug Dillard - Electric Banjo
*Leon Russell - Piano, Harpsichord; String Arrangements
*Van Dyke Parks - Keyboards
*Chris Hillman - Bass
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Michael Clarke - Drums
*Joel Larson - Drums

1964-90  Gene Clark - Flying High
1964-82  Gene Clark ‎- The Lost Studio Sessions (2016 audiophile double Vinyl set)
1967  Gene Clark - Echoes
1967  Gene Clark - Sings For You (2018 digipak with unreleased material)
1968-69  Dillard And Clark - Fantastic Expedition / Through The Morning, Through The Night
1971  Gene Clark - White Light
1972  Gene Clark - Roadmaster  (2011 Edition)
1974  Gene Clark ‎– No Other / No Other Sessions (2019 hybrid SACD three disc box set) 
Related Acts
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)
1967-68  The Rose Garden - A Trip Through The Garden (2018 bonus tracks remaster)

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